Dwayne Roloson delivered another superb performance at the Air Canada Centre, Matt Moulson tallied his third goal of the season to give the team an early lead in the second period and Oakville, Ontario native John Tavares lifted the Islanders to a 2-1 overtime win over the Maple Leafs with his right circle winner.
Unfortunately, the Islanders win over the undefeated Leafs did not come without an asterisk.?
?To add to the Islanders mind-boggling injury woes, the team saw its most productive player so far this season--Josh Bailey-- leave last night’s game with a hip flexor injury suffered during the second period of the team’s first overtime win of the season.?
?Bailey, who entered last night’s game with a team-leading seven points (three goals and four assists), remained on the bench during the second period but did not return to the game in the third period.
Although no immediate timetable is known for Bailey, head coach Scott Gordon is optimistic he won't miss too much time.?
?"Not too bad," head coach Scott Gordon said when asked to assess the severity of Bailey's injury. "He played a little after it happened--it happened during the second shift of the second period-- and at that point, he wasn't moving like he should've been."
Before last night’s game, Bailey had been the team’s standout forward in the wake of the early losses the team has suffered.
With two professional seasons under his belt and an extra 12 pounds added to his frame from an intensive off-season training regimen, Bailey seemed poised for a breakout year.???
The 21-year-old Bowmanville, Ontario native (about 30 friends and family members were in attendance during last night’s game) earned the team’s makeshift MVP trophy hard hat after scoring a goal and picking up an assist in Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Avalanche.?
?"I just want to establish myself," said Bailey after Saturday’s win at Nassau Coliseum. "The first couple of years I didn't do that. I had a better year last year, but you want to establish yourself as the player
you're going to be for the rest of your career and I want to do that."?
?Hopefully for Bailey, and the Islanders, he’ll still have that chance this season.
??Through the first six games this season, the Islanders already suffered injuries to their top defenseman Mark Streit, their most versatile, hard-working forward Kyle Okposo, the highly-skilled centerman Rob Schremp and last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick John Tavares.
?Despite the injuries, however, the Islanders have picked up the slack and they continued to do so tonight after Bailey went down.
Roloson, who was awarded his second consecutive start because of his 58-save performance at ACC last November, was tremendous in net. The only goal against the 41-year-old veteran was the third-period equalizer, when Phil Kessel buried a rebound at 17:55 for a PPG to send the game into OT.
With the man-advantage, Tavares' power-play goal at 3:26 into the overtime period for the team's second straight win.
???"We've been battling through it the first month-and-a-half here going through injuries right through our lineup, but we've had guys step up. That's what we've gotta do. For sure we'll miss a guy like him if he misses some games," Tavares said.